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Where has all my disk space gone?

    Question

  •  

    I have a new Lenovo laptop pre-installed with Vista Ultimate.  I thought an 80GB hard disk would be plenty in comparison to my old 20GB Dell, but I was wrong, as I'm down to 6GB free, just four weeks after I bought it!

     

    I'm planning to try and delete a few things to free up some space before resorting to the alternative of buying a new hard disk, but am confused as to what's taking up all the space.  I've been through Explorer and added up the totals of each file and folder at c:\ (got the sizes from right-click / properties), and it comes to 38.2GB.  I'm viewing hidden & system files, so I can see pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys.  If I look at "computer" in Explorer, it says that my c: drive has "6.95GB free of 86.7GB".  Something's not adding up.  86.7 - 38.2 = 48.5.  So according to that I should have 48.5GB free!

     

    I must be missing something, like 40GB of stuff that I can't see.  Any thoughts on what I'm missing and how I can find it?  Does the "properties" thing perhaps exclude hidden files in the size calcs even if I've told Explorer to show them?  Is the Lenovo hidden recovery partition included in Explorer's total c: size of 86.7GB (I wouldn't have thought so?)?  Why does Explorer say that my hard disk is 86.7GB, when according to the spec it's 80GB?

     

    Grateful for any help anyone can give.  I really don't want to fork out for a new hard disk just a month after spending £1600 on this laptop!

     

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 3:47 PM

Answers

  • Sorry for proposing the above post as answer. My bad.

    So! Two years too late but I do hope my answer helps someone else. I just found out how to fix this for my old WinXP hp pavillion laptop:

    For Windows Vista: Click Start -> Type 'Explorer' on the Search bar -> Click on 'Windows Explorer' -> On the Left pane, look for and select 'Recovery (D:)' -> The RECOVERY folder is the ONLY folder that belongs here in this (D:) drive. Nothing else. Any other folder (Usually a backup set) should be deleted. ->Restart computer. 

    For Windows XP: Right-click on Start menu -> Select Explore -> On the Left pane, look for and select 'Recovery (D:)' -> The RECOVERY folder is the ONLY folder that belongs here in this (D:) drive. Nothing else. Any other folder (Usually a backup set) should be deleted. ->Restart computer.

    Ensure your System Restore or any other Backup Software such as Norton 360's Backup sets (which is what I found) is saving to something other than the (D:) drive. Do not save anything to this drive. I think I may have set those options myself thinking it was the 'safest' drive to save to. I now know better. I bought DVD-RW (re-writeable) disks and save my backup to these.

    May be a good idea to make two separate backup copies and hand one over to Mama to hold. ;-)

     

    • Proposed as answer by JannyMaha Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:43 AM
    • Marked as answer by Carey FrischMVP Wednesday, November 09, 2011 3:41 AM
    Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:36 AM
  •  

    Hi Lorrainp,

     

    Thank you for the post.

     

    Please understand the System Restore feature can take up a lot of disk space. As the System Restore feature is useful, normally we do not recommend customers to turn it off. However, if you really want to find the cause of this issue, you can temporarily it turn off.

     

    To turn off the System Restore feature, please refer to the following method:

     

    Control Panel -> System -> System Protection -> Uncheck the box before all available disks.

     

    Note: Turning off the System Restore feature will remove all restore points.

     

    For more information, you can refer to the following thread:

    http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?postid=2359168&siteid=17

     

    Hope it helps.

     

    Best regards,

    Tim Quan

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Friday, November 30, 2007 6:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Friday, November 30, 2007 5:17 PM

All replies

  • Perform a Disk Cleanup:

    Click on the blue Vista start button and then on the Computer
    entry in the Start Menu.  Right-click on your hard drive and
    select Properties > Disk Cleanup > Files from all users.....
    More Options > Clean Up (System Restore and Shadow Copies).

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 4:04 PM
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the tip.  This told me it would free up 2.8GB, with the only large items being the hibernation file, Office setup files and temp files.

     

    I went ahead and did it as it will be helpful in the short term.  C: drive properties now say that I have 9.54GB free.

     

    I still want to know where the missing 40GB is though.  Any further thoughts on why I can't see these files?

     

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 4:11 PM
  • I'm getting more and more perplexed by this.

     

    I ran a PC Doctor full test, just because I wanted to see what this app does, to see if I was happy to uninstall it.  I then ran the uninstall, which should have saved me a couple of hundred MB.  I didn't check my disk space in between running the test and removing the app, so I don't know if it generated huge log files or anything.

     

    After uninstalling PC Doctor, and junking a couple of hundred MB of my own data that I don't need, I re-did my earlier exercise of checking folder sizes on c:\, and the folders are now coming to a total of 35.2GB, vs the earlier total of 38.2.  3GB saved, good.  BUT Explorer now reports that my free space has actually REDUCED to 7.4GB!!!

     

    What's going on?  Why can't I see where all the disk space is going?  The numbers just don't add up!

     

    I really hope someone can help me!

     

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 6:52 PM
  •  

    Hi Lorrainp,

     

    Thank you for the post.

     

    Please understand the System Restore feature can take up a lot of disk space. As the System Restore feature is useful, normally we do not recommend customers to turn it off. However, if you really want to find the cause of this issue, you can temporarily it turn off.

     

    To turn off the System Restore feature, please refer to the following method:

     

    Control Panel -> System -> System Protection -> Uncheck the box before all available disks.

     

    Note: Turning off the System Restore feature will remove all restore points.

     

    For more information, you can refer to the following thread:

    http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?postid=2359168&siteid=17

     

    Hope it helps.

     

    Best regards,

    Tim Quan

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Friday, November 30, 2007 6:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Friday, November 30, 2007 5:17 PM
  • I got the simular problem. I using Vista Ultimate x64 edition sp1. the used space is 90G but the total size of the files in the disk are not more than 50G (Include the hide file and system files). I have disabled the system restore function. and I checked the VSS. there is no shadow storages.

     

     

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:03 AM
  • Click on the blue Vista start button and type Temp in the Start Search box.  When the temp folder appears at the top of the Start Menu, click on it to open.  Then from the Toolbar select Edit > Select All.  Then from the Toolbar select File > Delete.  This will delete unnecessary temp files.

     

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 11:23 PM
  • The same problem has been hounding me for weeks - found it!
    Vista's System Restore and Shadow Copies is not guilty on this one.
    It's the ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery tool. It dumped over 100 GB of junk in my RRbackups folder.
    Go into ThinkVantage from the start menu, Rescue and Recovery, set schedule and preferences, and uncheck Schedule your backups. When you click ok this will run one more back (a big thank you to lenovo for that) and then at least stop doing any more damage. Expect a follow-up post when I figure out how to actually remove previous backups. Until then, write Lenovo a nasty letter about the hours of productivity they've destroyed with this fine "feature."
    Tuesday, August 12, 2008 4:30 AM
  • Back in the Rescue and Recovery window...
    At the top there is an Advanced menu option with a Delete Backups option. Blammo. 132 GB freed up. Do this first then go turn off automatic backups in the preferences screen. If it tries to back up again, just cancel it and delete the attempt as required until all the actions remain unchecked.
    Tuesday, August 12, 2008 4:37 AM
  • The BEST tool I've ever seen for determining what's eating up my diskspace is WinDirStat. 

    http://windirstat.sourceforge.net

     

    Graphically shows you the size of all folders on your drive.

    http://windirstat.info/images/windirstat.jpg

     

    You will see that R&R takes up about 1/3 of your drive.

     

    Friday, August 29, 2008 10:20 PM
  • I have the same problem on an X41 with 34gb disk, running XP.
    Suddenly my disk space available dropped fro 15gb t0 7gb, and I couldnt find these extra files.

    I gratefully followed the above guidance and when I selected delete backups, it said no backups were found!!!!

    The screen box says

    Free 6.8

    Used 26.1

    Backup size 7.5

    Total size 32.9


    Please can someone help??


    TIA Ivor
    • Proposed as answer by JannyMaha Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:20 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Carey FrischMVP Wednesday, November 09, 2011 3:41 AM
    Friday, September 05, 2008 10:57 PM
  • Sorry for proposing the above post as answer. My bad.

    So! Two years too late but I do hope my answer helps someone else. I just found out how to fix this for my old WinXP hp pavillion laptop:

    For Windows Vista: Click Start -> Type 'Explorer' on the Search bar -> Click on 'Windows Explorer' -> On the Left pane, look for and select 'Recovery (D:)' -> The RECOVERY folder is the ONLY folder that belongs here in this (D:) drive. Nothing else. Any other folder (Usually a backup set) should be deleted. ->Restart computer. 

    For Windows XP: Right-click on Start menu -> Select Explore -> On the Left pane, look for and select 'Recovery (D:)' -> The RECOVERY folder is the ONLY folder that belongs here in this (D:) drive. Nothing else. Any other folder (Usually a backup set) should be deleted. ->Restart computer.

    Ensure your System Restore or any other Backup Software such as Norton 360's Backup sets (which is what I found) is saving to something other than the (D:) drive. Do not save anything to this drive. I think I may have set those options myself thinking it was the 'safest' drive to save to. I now know better. I bought DVD-RW (re-writeable) disks and save my backup to these.

    May be a good idea to make two separate backup copies and hand one over to Mama to hold. ;-)

     

    • Proposed as answer by JannyMaha Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:43 AM
    • Marked as answer by Carey FrischMVP Wednesday, November 09, 2011 3:41 AM
    Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:36 AM
  • Well I seen to have the same problem but intead of a small 10-25 Gb It's a whopping 200+GB of Stuff that i cannot find in any file or program! As the others have done I have added up all of my programs and Files and I can only seem to get around 70-80Gb that i'm actualy using! I have a 300 Gb Harddrive (10 Partitioned) 70-80 Gb Used by me.

    So 300 - 10 - 75 = 215 GB Of data that should be free space!

    What is causing this? Ive been looking for months but nothing!

    Thank you in advance  :[

    Tuesday, November 08, 2011 11:37 AM
  • My God Thank you!  I just got 800GB back!!


    Dane!

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:34 PM